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The Lowdown on Hepatitis (for Hepatitis Awareness Month)

The Lowdown on Hepatitis

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, and that means it’s the perfect time to learn more about this disease, its transmission and the ways to prevent it.

With this information, more people can protect themselves against this potentially dangerous STD.

What Is Hepatitis?

It’s broadly defined as an inflammation of the liver. The disease includes five different subcategories, with each subcategory being labeled with one of the letters A through E. Accordingly, a diagnosis of hepatitis A or another subcategory indicates how the disease was transmitted and what symptoms it has.

Hepatitis A

When a person eats or drinks an item that carries Hepatitis A, then they may become infected. This form of the illness almost always clears up on its own. Nonetheless, approximately 20 percent of people who become infected require hospitalization. Getting the vaccine is the best way for people to protect themselves.

Hepatitis B

This form of the illness can be passed from mother to child at birth, through sex with an infected individual or from sharing a dirty needle. This infection sometimes clears up on its own. However, many people who get infected become a carrier, which means that they can spread the illness even if they don’t have symptoms. A vaccine can protect people from this disease.

Hepatitis C

Contact with infected blood or dirty needles can make an individual contract Hepatitis C. Occasionally, symptoms are mild, but this form of the sickness can lead to severe liver scarring known as cirrhosis. Several treatments are available, but there is no vaccine.

Other Forms of Hepatitis

Hepatitis D and E are more unusual in the U.S. The D infection only results in people who have a hepatitis B infection, and it causes more severe symptoms. Hepatitis E is common to Africa, India, Asia and Mexico. It is spread through eating or drinking contaminated items.

Stop the Spread of Hepatitis

TEST SMARTLY LABS provides accurate, confidential testing for hepatitis B & C and other common STDs. We can help you identify any sexually transmitted infections you have┬áso that you can get treated and ensure you don’t spread the disease to anyone else.

Protect your sexual health today with STD testing at TEST SMARTLY LABS! Find your nearest location today.

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